Best NYC live Music Neighborhoods
If you’re someone who loves live music, New York is a veritable heaven. From all the legendary spots with reputations decades in the making, to the tiny haunts serving up the best of the local scene, there’s no place like the Big Apple for live music anywhere.
As musicians, we find ourselves out and about often, for all kinds of acts from jazz and classical to underground punk and metal, and everything in between. It’s part of why we’re here—the complex ecosystem of music venues make this city both a source of inspiration and a wide-ranging stage for our own musical pursuits.
But not all neighborhoods are created equal. That’s why we’ve named the three best neighborhoods to live if you’re one of those night owls always looking for a great source of live entertainment.
Young people have been flocking to Bushwick for years because of its vibrant nightlife. Add in the highly accessible subway system that runs all night, and you’ve got the recipe for a nearly insular live music scene that can’t be beat.
The venues located in Bushwick run the gamut of diversity for all types of entertainment, with the prevalence of local acts an ever-lingering presence. In Bushwick you’ll find:
- Rakit Club
- The Gateway
- The Coop
- Gold Sounds Bar
- Freedom Garden
- Bossa Nova Civic Club
This is not a complete list, but in just a few blocks it’s easy to understand why Bushwick is a mecca for live music.
Long a hipster capital of the world, Williamsburg is a shining example of how demand for local music venues can turn the tide for an entire neighborhood.
Everything from jazz to indie to electronica are all available most nights of the week in Williamsburg. In Williamsburg you’ll find:
- Music Hall of Williamsburg
- The Knitting Factory
- Pete’s Candy Store
- Mazie Bar and Supper Club
- National Sawdust
There’s at least 20 more venues in the area, all of which are a quick Uber ride or healthy walk away from each other. If you’re looking to be able to hit up multiple venues in one night, Williamsburg is the place to be.
3. Greenwich Village
You guessed it. Greenwich Village has been a legendary incubator for such greats as Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix, and thousands of other lesser-known acts. Part of that is because the Village has been chock-full of places to play and watch for decades.
Greenwich Village is perhaps the epicenter for New York City’s underground music culture for this reason. With so much going on—a scene that has endured for decades—you’d almost wonder if there is something in the water. If you’re in Greenwich Village, here’s some spots you should definitely check out:
- The Village Vanguard
- Cafe Wha?
- Smalls Jazz Club
- The Bitter End
- The Bowery Electric
In Greenwich Village, there’s literally something for everybody, from jazz and indie rock to electronica and beyond. If you’re hungry for an overwhelmingly vibrant night scene, Greenwich Village is your destination.